Seeing as I probably won’t get many opportunities to report on a Hampshire XC win I thought this one deserved it’s own race report.
Knowing full well that the National Relays would probably deplete the field slightly and that I would be on fresher legs this weekend due to being in my first taper week, I did think in the back of my mind that if I was ever going to win one of these then this was probably going to be my chance. 😉
I remembered from last year how bottle-necked the race got in the first 400m having tried to start quite steady last time so I decided I needed to make sure I was up at the sharp end from the start.
A nice change of weather and down pour of rain just before the start made me question my 5mm spike choice but it was too late by then and it was time to get involved……apart from the fact the start horn caught me unawares and I was 25 back after 10m!
A quick bit of verge running to get through the crowd and I found myself nicely sat around 10m behind the front group as we went up the hill for the first time.
I could already tell my legs were feeling up for it as we climbed and so by around half way through the first lap I found myself out front dictating the pace, not a normal position for me in the Hampshire XC but a good feeling! There were a couple of slippery bits thanks to the big pre-race shower and I probably could have done with some longer spikes as I had a couple of scary moments but nothing too serious.
As the next couple of laps were ticked off I was still feeling very strong both aerobically and in the legs and thought if anyone in the small group behind tried to up the pace I would be able to cover it with an increase in effort from myself.
By the final lap after taking the hill for the final time I could feel I had got some air between me and second place so just continued on at a strong effort without looking back!
I was glad that I had no-one breathing down my neck in the last 200m as I’m not known for my sprint finishes so was able to enjoy the last couple of hundred meters down the grass hill to take the win.
As I said at the start, there were a few usual suspects missing from todays event but I still beat some quality runners who I have struggled against in the past in XC and I was also very pleased with how strong I felt in general, a much needed confidence boost ahead of next week after my below average session last Sunday.
Garmin Details Below